Shouting 'Cross the Potomac
but never a Monday morning quarterback
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Virginia Pundit Watch Will Vehrs' Weekly Column at Bacon's Rebellion
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UVA Center for Politics and Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball Predictions 2002
Spinsanity - Countering rhetoric with reason
On the Third Hand
A blog by a proud member of the Bellicose Women's Brigade
Mark A. Kilmer's Political Annotation
A Nickles Worth of Free Advice
Where HipHop and Libertarianism meet
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What She Really Thinks
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the talking dog
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perfunctory links(We think it's "the Mother of links pages for news and pundit junkies" - eds)
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Town Hall: Conservative News and Information - The Conservative Movement Starts Here
Saturday, July 06, 2002
Will VehrsTony, as usual, QP covers all the bases--you at the huge Mall Fourth of July celebration, me at the small town parade. Glad you got to see Aretha in all her glory!
The golden age of baseball seems further away than ever now with the passing of Ted Williams. I was too young to have seen him play, even in his last seasons, but he made a tremendous impression on me as a youth from the Sears & Roebuck catalog. I wanted a Ted Williams glove and bat ... and, if I'd been interested in fishing, a Ted Williams rod and reel. I was a baseball fan when he took over as manager of the Washington Senators, but that was ultimately a disappointment. Great players seldom make great managers. Williams represents another era. Can anyone imagine one of the steroid juiced players of today going off to fight in Afghanistan? There's no telling what Williams might have accomplished if he hadn't given five years to the military in WWII and Korea, but his service meant so much more to the country than the 150 or more homers he would have hit.
I'm still waiting on Josh Marshall to deliver on the damaging revelations about President Bush's business ties that he promised on July 2nd. If that anecdote about Army Secretary Tom White is all he's got, then his efforts to totally discredit Bush and the Republicans will be met with a shrug.
NBC Nightly News did a piece last night on Senator Joe Lieberman and how he's "deeply conflicted" about whether to seek the Democratic nomination if Al Gore does. Lieberman didn't look too conflicted to me. I think he ought to stick to his promise. If Al Gore hadn't picked Lieberman as his running mate, the Connecticut Senator is a second tier prospect for 2004, like about six others Democrats. If Al Gore picks Senator Bob Graham of Florida as his 2000 running mate, Gore is President right now.
It's Anniversary Week at Dodd's always entertaining Caption Contest. Get those entries in to celebrate a truly "Iron Man" blogging effort--the 53d consecutive week of wacky photos. The 52nd week's contest ended in a whimper for Refuge entrants. JulieC had four strong contenders and Dan's entry was fraught with meaning. "Rags" decided to use the contest to compare my still developing beard to Yasser Arafat's stubble. I'm crushed. My entries, full of political and literary allusions, again failed to move the whimsical judge. It looks like pop culture and Madison Avenue are the tickets to victory, so consider that a "tip" as you try to win this prestigious competition. There's a real prize involved!
Friday, July 05, 2002
A Hot Time Was Had By All
Tony AdragnaAll who decided to attend, that is.
Yes, I did something that I rarely do -- I attended an event on The Mall.
It didn't seem as crowded as in past years, at least that was my impression after comparing what I saw on the rebroadcast to what I remember from my normal viewing. But, I don't think that "the threat" was a major contributing factor for attendance being off. In my opinion, the weather was more of a concern -- heat index over 100 and Code Orange on the air quality.
I took plenty of bottled water (peach flavoured sparklig stuff that I get at the 7-11 before getting on the train), and my lungs are quite used to a hostile "air quality" environment (I smoke like a chimney).
Despite all the talk about what a nightmare the security checkpoints were going to be, I had no problems. Of course, I got down to The Mall very early so that I could annex myself a prime location for viewage of the concert.
Truth be told, I wasn't there for any particularly patriotic reasons (my hometown parade woulda been better for that), or to flaunt "the threat"(risk doesn't worry me, but the day I get scared of thugs is the same day I might as well stop living): I just wanted to see Aretha Franklin sing "Highway of Love". Well, I got to see her -- all of her! I didn't realize just how B I G Sister 'Retha has gotten over the years. She came out wearing a white dress and I coulda sworn that she was trying to portray the Capital Dome!!!
She can still sang, though -- that's all that matters...
"Twas, as usual, a good production. But, I'm sure that I woulda had more fun cheering on the Rolling Liberty Girls...
So, OK, I did get caught up in the flag waving and singing of patriotic songs -- nothing wrong with that, just so long as we know what true patriotism is all about...
Thursday, July 04, 2002
Breaking News: The Rolling Liberty Girls won huge ribbons for their costumes and decorated scooters in the Brandermill Fourth of July Parade. They're thrilled--and they threw all the candy, except for the yellow taffy that my daughter likes. She hung on to those.
QP on the Fourth
Will VehrsTony, what's on for the Fourth of July? I know how you love small town parades--I'm off soon to ours. My daughter and a friend will be riding their red, white and blue festooned scooters in the parade. I'll follow the parade route on foot, making sure they drink water and are resupplied with candy. Gettng to throw candy at the spectators seems to be the big attraction for these seven year olds ....
Happy Fourth to QP readers everywhere--honor America on this day!
Wednesday, July 03, 2002
"Christianity is harmful to animals"
Tony AdragnaGotta love this guy's response to Peter Singer.
If he [Fr. Sibley] was my parish priest, I'd go to Mass everyday!!!
Too Damned Many Kennedy-Hyphenateds
Tony AdragnaWhy don't I enthusiastically support KKT?
I suppose that I still resent the implication that the only reason Glendening won in '94 was because a "Kennedy" was on the ticket with him -- as if Glendening's CV wasn't good enough. The former PG County executive was well known and highly regarded prior to the '94 primary, and none of the Democrat contenders got close in the primary.
KKT's only claim to fame is her name, and I don't think that she would have been a contender this time around if it hadn't been for Glendening setting her up -- you know, like presidents set up their VPs as successors -- and the fact that there isn't a county exec running against her.
That's my other sore spot -- she hasn't come up through the ranks of county politics. The real tension in Maryland politics isn't between the two parties, but between the counties over their fair share of money from the state coffers (especially when it comes to money for schools). If you don't know county politics in Maryland, then I don't see how you can succeed in statewide office.
I'm not saying that KKT doesn't know anything about county politics -- she's no dummy, has an avocation toward politics (going back to her unseccessful '86 run against Ehrlich's predecessor), and has undoubtedly learned a lot from Glendening.
But, I'm skeptical of her ability to perform the task of balancing state-wide goals and parochial interests.
I'll trade you as many Kennedy-Hyphenateds as it will take to equal one Mark Warner...
Read All of Today's WaPo Op-Eds
Some good stuff there -- especially a good argument about why the voucher decision doesn't get us over the hump, and a thoughtful expression of thanks from somebody born in Warsaw 89 years ago.
I take only minor exception with Sleaze and the Slump -- I concur completely in Samuelson's theme that the downturn in the market and some business failures are an inevitable function of over-investment and excess capacity/inventory (fueled in no small measure by expectations that very real high consumption/investment trends could be maintained).
Where I disagree with Samuelson is his willingness to discount the impact of questionably ethical behavior in the set up to wildly inflated stock prices and excess investment in the market. At some point your average non-Street savvy investor was sold a bill of goods by somebody who knew that the merchandise wasn't worth the price. The question I pose is: How long has this been going on?
Was the market ever worth what the analysts wanted us to believe?
And let's not forget that the problems in these companies weren't precipitated by the sluggish economy -- the funny math goes back well into the "boom period" accounting, and was meant to hide things that investors, lenders, and the public in general had a right to know at the time. We shouldn't be finding these things out years later and only after we all started questioning everybody in the wake of Enron -- if not for that collapse and the resulting scrutiny, would we have found out about the "sleaze" in other places?
Yes, Robert, what happened was inevitable under the circumstances. But, the circumstances weren't inevitable...
Two Minute Drill
Will VehrsMaryland Politics Tony, the reason I came back to Maryland politics is that I continue to be blown away by your failure, as a Democrat, to pay homage to the Kennedy magic and the flamekeeper with the most potential, Lt Gov Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Most Democrats, because of the Kennedy connection, would probably vote for Michael Skakel if he were on the ballot ....
Kennedy Townsend is going to win, of course, and will be mentioned as possible presidential running mate in '04 and either an ideal running mate in '08 or a plausible candidate herself. I don't know much about her running mate, Admiral Larson, but I was fascinated by Mickey Kaus's suggestion that Larson was a stalking horse a John McCain party switch to the Democrats.
I'll tell you why the end to court-ordered busing in PG County hasn't gotten any notice: Maryland and PG County aren't really considered "the South." A story with a racial angle usually has to be in the South for the media to pay attention.
A "Sister Souljah" Moment in VA Here in Richmond, Tony, our Democratic Governor, Mark Warner, had a "Sister Souljah" moment yesterday. He was signing an order mandating that state agencies buy more from minority-owned businesses. A leader of a black farmer organization, John Boyd, confronted the Governor. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch story:
Black farmers have gotten nothing from the state, Boyd said. "The Virginia Department of Agriculture has not done a single program for African-American farmers," he said.
Boyd confronted Warner about the lack of procurement opportunities for farmers, and the governor stood his ground.
He reminded Boyd that he had asked him to develop a plan to expand state business with farmers, and Boyd still hadn't produced one. He would be glad to consider it, the governor said.
Good for Warner.
Oh, Please How trite is another list of play on word drug names? Maureen Dowd goes to that well this morning and it's almost embarassing. She doesn't do anything to dispell the notion that the New York Times editorial page is not only hopelessly slanted, but also proactively partisan. She jumps on the Paul Krugman bandwagon by repeating charges he made yesterday about President Bush's 1989 Harken Energy deal. Bush was asked about those charges yesterday and they obviously got under his skin.
Let's all enjoy this latest round of recriminations and the politics of personal destruction, brought to you by the folks who bitterly denounced it when they saw it being used against President Clinton.
Tuesday, July 02, 2002
She Got It By Default!
Tony AdragnaSo, OK, I was wrong 'bout KKT -- I still prefer Martin O'Malley. If he, or Doug Duncan, had decided to run, then I think KKT's prospects would be different.[Duh! -- I meant to assert that she wouldn't have stood a chance]
I am pleased with KKT's running mate -- maybe Admiral Larson will be able to clean up political Annapolis the same way that he cleaned up his last posting in that city [for those who don't remember, Larson is the USNA Super who restored honor to the acadamy in the wake of that cheating scandal].
Doesn't matter to me who the Democrat nominee is, anyway -- I've decided to vote for Spear Lancaster
Hey, what's my single Dem vote gonna matter anyhow -- this is Maryland, where William Donald Schaefer will always have a job.!
My only real concern in re the upcomming election is about the new touch-screen voting system (not sure if it's going to be in all counties this cycle, but PG is definitely using it). My experience with touch-screens -- dealing with those damned "Customer Banking Center" machines when I worked for Citibank -- leaves me skeptical. The screens get dirty really fast [all the oil from fingertips], and then the sensors start acting funny. And older people kinda don't like 'em.
We'll see -- there may be some problems recording votes correctly (rather, some people will have a problem properly casting the vote that they want recorded), but the results won't be anywhere near close enough to precipitate The Court needing to step in again...
I'm trying to figure out what's going on in the PG county races -- haven't gotten anything in the mail. Wayne Curry is term-limited out of his job, and I don't know anything about the current crop of contenders 'cept that Riddick is a Glendening crony...
Addendum: By the way, since we're talking about PG County, and we've recently discussed education & the courts, I've got a question: How come the recent end to court ordered bussing in PG County (the court declared that PG schools are finally no longer segregated) hasn't gotten much notice?